Hey, Liberal Denier: Fly free to Florida to see for yourself the corrosive impact of government over-regulation

My Sept. 13 column (“How to save a sinking business”), prompted nasty responses from folks that didn’t believe in the existence of the small businessman who complained about government regulations.

So, my small businessman, Mike, has made a most generous offer: He will fly—at his expense—whoever first doubted him to his business in Jacksonville, Florida, to work with him for a day to see firsthand how government regulations at all levels affect his business.

Obviously he can’t fly everyone down, so here’s the deal. The first of the naysayers who wants to take him up on the offer will be awarded the trip. You must be one of the naysayers (listed below) who responded to the column. You should respond to me at dennis@dennisbyrne.net (with “Mike trip” in the subject line) and I will pass on the winner’s name to Mike. He will get back in touch with you to make the arrangements. So, you will have to provide your real identity and contact information. (If you prefer to continue to take potshots anonymously, I guess this deal isn’t for you.) You also will have to provide some evidence that you were the poster.

I suppose we have to make some stipulations that all decisions by Mike or myself regarding the conditions of the trip will be final.

So, to posters “cmylogic,” “Tominchicago,” “mac1948,” “RAK9466” or “Billyboy5”, step up, if you have the guts, to have your preconceived notions challenged.

Here are their comments:

Billyboy5 at 11:28 AM September 13, 2011

Just as I am suspicious of news stories that quote unnamed sources, I find the opinion columns quoting unnamed contractors hard to believe, especially when the column matches up perfectly with political talking points.

RAK9466 at 11:40 AM September 13, 2011

I call BS on this! Who is your source? What are the "obvious" reasons? You should be held to the same high standards, defined by the Tribune, as any Doonesbury comic strip.

mac1948 at 12:52 PM September 13, 2011

Hey Dennis:

"Open letter" my foot. No documentation. No attribution. How this passed muster at the opinion page editor's desk is a real mystery.

Perhaps it is you that needs regulating.

Tominchicago at 2:15 PM September 13, 2011

The obvious reason he isn't named is because he doesn't exist.  Moreover, many of this imaginary contractors problems are more state based than federal.  Finally, I will take issue with the complaint that air quality controls cost $30,000 on a piece of equipment that used to cost $60,000.  Setting aside the ridiculousness of that proposition, it is proper for the national government to control air pollution.  That is a cost of doing business that would otherwise be borne by society.  Why should we as a society subsidize imaginary contractor's business?  That sounds like socialism to me.

cmylogic at 3:09 PM September 14, 2011

The suggestion that all of our good paying jobs we'll come back if we ease up on regulations is a joke.  We the people have voted.  We voted with our wallets and cheap stuff made in China, India, and Viet Nam won.  Now you could lead by example and vow not to buy or use any products made in these countries.  But then you'd have a house with no appliances and no clothes to wear.

With regards to the cost to "clean up the last 10-20% of pollution" I would only ask what "real science" you're quoting.

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